Western States 100
The Western States 100 is a 100-mile footrace beginning in the village at Palisades (Olympic Valley, CA), and finishing on the track at Placer High School in Auburn, CA. To those in the endurance community, it’s often referred to as the “Super Bowl of Ultrarunning.” It’s a race that in recent years has produced as many 6,664 applicants for less than 400 spots on the start line. Each entry into the lottery requires each applicant to run a qualifying race, so even entering the lottery requires a lot of hard work. And to this point, there are some applicants who have entered the lottery for eight consecutive years and have still yet to be selected. Despite all of those obstacles, Tahoe Mountain Realty will be represented by not one, but two runners at the Western States 100 in 2022: Owner and General Manager, Jeff Brown, and Athlete-in-Residence Adam Kimble! We will be chronicling the journey to the start line for both Jeff and Adam, and this month they will share some thoughts about their hopes and expectations for the race.
While Adam and Jeff are bringing divergent expectations to the event, they have shared many miles in training and are working a common coach, local running legend and Adam’s coaching partner with Run on Dirt Coaching, Peter Fain.
I’ve been fortunate to have already had the opportunity to run Western States back in 2018, where I came in 13th place overall in a time of 17 hours and 33 minutes. At the time, it was the most important race I had ever run, and I had a goal of running a great race and finishing in the Top-10. The 10th place finisher that year came across the line in 17 hours and 20 minutes, a mere 13 minutes ahead of me! Why is that significant? Well, in addition to the lottery, there are some other ways to get one of the coveted few spots on the start line that so many runners dream about. One such way is to finish in the Top-10 males or females, all of whom have the opportunity to return the following year if they choose to accept. This year, I was fortunate enough to receive a sponsored entry (there were only 13 total in 2022) into the race from BUFF, one of my partners and a sponsor of Western States. Now, however, my destiny lies in my own hands! If I finish in the Top-10 males on June 25th, I will have an automatic entry into the race in 2023. And that is my sole goal. Coming back to finish what I started and so narrowly missed in 2018. Once again, Western States has managed to become the most important race I’ve ever run, and I will give it everything I’ve got when I line up in less than four months!
I’ve had the opportunity to watch Adam, JB and other elite athletes complete on the sport’s highest stage, Western States, for the last decade. Upon stumbling into the sport some 40 marathons ago, this event became the ultimate beacon. Upon being selected for the 2022 race via a raffle nearly 18 months ago, the opportunity to fulfill this running dream has been of central focus. Unlike Adam who will compete, my primary goal is the complete the journey within the 30 hours allotted and soak in what may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The heat of the American River canyons and undulating hills totaling over 16,000 vertical feet of climbing will pose a stout challenge but ultimately my ability to finish lies between the ears. A solid foundation of fitness and mental fortitude will be essential in the coming months. A great winter of Nordic and backcountry skiing along with just enough running where dirt can be found are the near-term recipe along with a handful of shorter (relatively) races beginning with the Way Too Cool 50k in early March.
If all plays out according to plan, Adam and Jeff may finish as bookends to the field but each is guaranteed to have a memorable journey. We look forward to sharing their progress along the way.